Search results

General

Type

Sector

Regions

Sort options

204 results found for your search

Subscriber

Payments platform: The Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) launched the Buna payment platform on 23 February, providing clearing and settlement services. The platform is designed to handle inter-Arab financial transactions and others between Arab countries and their trading partners, enabling commercial and central banks to send and receive cross-border payments. The initial slate of currencies approved for the platform include the Bahraini dinar, Saudi riyal and the UAE dirham, as well as the Egyptian pound, Jordanian dinar, US dollar and the euro.

Subscriber

Coronavirus threats: Yemen remains one of the few countries in the world not to have reported any cases of coronavirus, as of 31 March, according to the World Health Organisation. However, both the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels have been introducing measures to try and prevent the global pandemic consuming the country. Among the steps to date, in late March the Hadi government closed ports of entry and, in the city of Taiz, shut shopping malls, mosques, wedding halls and qat markets.

Yemen
Subscriber

Abu Dhabi stimulus: The Abu Dhabi Executive Council announced a multi-billion-dirham economic stimulus package on 16 March, including fast-tracking some elements of the existing Ghadan 21 economic strategy, in an effort to support economic activity in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Cabinet reshuffle: Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani appointed Emiri Diwan chief Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani as prime minister and interior minister on 28 January, taking over from Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani who had resigned after six and a half years as premier. Khalid’s appointment marks a further stage in the growing centralisation of power around the Emiri Diwan since 2013, when Tamim took over from his father.

Qatar
Subscriber

Reshuffle MBS style: The reappointment to government on 25 February of Khalid Al-Falih – after he was removed as energy minister last year – to head a new Ministry for Investment highlighted Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s style of government. Despite his apparent fall from grace during a difficult period for his industrial strategy and the Saudi Aramco listing, Falih is one of a small group of trusted officials through whom MBS promotes his rule.

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

Sultan succession: The death of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said was announced on 10 January. While predicted for some time, his death still came as a profound shock to the nation he had not only ruled but profoundly shaped since 1970, and whose political life he had dominated as an absolute ruler. Qaboos had been suffering from cancer for many years and had received extensive treatment in Europe.

Oman
Subscriber

Government turmoil: The cabinet handed in its resignation on 14 November, amid a corruption scandal involving KD240m ($790m) missing from the Army Fund and tensions between the National Assembly (parliament) and the executive. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah was subsequently replaced by Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, who had been foreign minister. The revamped government faced immediate problems, with social affairs and labour minister Ghadeer Mohammad Aseeri resigning in late January.

Kuwait
Subscriber

Protests continue: Demonstrations continued across many parts of the country through the early weeks of January, as the authorities struggle to come to terms with public discontent at the poor state of public services, corruption and foreign interference. Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi resigned in late November but remains in office in a caretaker capacity as it has proved impossible for President Barham Salih to find a consensus candidate to replace him. Indeed, it is now possible that Abdel-Mahdi may be pressured to remain in the job.

Iraq
Subscriber

Politics: Disagreements between the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and the federal Iraqi government in Baghdad have been a source of major tensions. The 2005 constitution gave the KRI an identity distinct from Iraq, as a federal entity recognised by Iraq and the United Nations; the 2010 Erbil agreement outlined how power would be shared. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has long protested these agreements’ lack of implementation.

Iraq
Subscriber

Fuel protests: The government announced an unexpected cut in fuel subsidies overnight on 14/15 November, which sparked a wave of protests that swept across Iran, swiftly followed by a brutal crackdown by the authorities. The regime adopted a policy of maximum force to snuff out the threat, with an internet blackout to stem the ability of protestors to organise themselves. Many thousands were arrested and the death toll reached into three-figures. The authorities blamed the outbreak of discontent on malign ‘foreign influences’.

Iran
Subscriber

IsDB green bond issue: The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) raised €1bn in five-year trust certificates on 27 November, marking the successful pricing of its first ‘green’ sukuk (Islamic bond). The paper was issued under the bank’s $25bn trust certificate issuance programme and was its third debt issuance this year. The joint lead managers and joint bookrunners on the issue were Citi, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Natixis, Société Générale, Warba Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Subscriber

Riyadh agreement: President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government signed an accord with the Southern Transition Council in the Saudi capital on 5 November. The Saudi government had played a critical role in bringing the two sides together, in a development which should help to avert another front opening up in the country’s long-running conflict in the wake of the UAE decision to withdraw most of its forces from the arena.

Yemen
Issue 1092 - 18 November 2019

UAE: Emirates tensions, oil trading

Subscriber

Abu Dhabi-Dubai tensions: The relationship between the two most powerful members of the federation has been coming under strain amid shifting geopolitical and economic trends. Among points of contention are Abu Dhabi’s strategy of trying to freeze out Qatar and Iran, which Dubai views as expensive quarrels that offer no beneficial outcomes.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Strategic retreat: Following the surprise drawdown of forces from Yemen announced in July, there have been signs of a wider reduction in the UAE’s overseas reach. Among recent developments, GSN has heard that UAE support for Libyan rebel Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar is in question, following his Libyan National Army (LNA)’s failure to take Tripoli this summer.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Energy and foreign affairs reshuffles: Several rounds of government reorganisation started in late August, as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has sought to inject more life into his economic reform programme and prepare for Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO). A big loser was Khalid Al-Falih, who was replaced as Aramco chairman by Public Investment Fund head Yasir Al-Rumayyan. Falih also lost control of the industry and mineral resources ministerial portfolios and on 8 September was replaced as energy minister by Prince Abdelaziz Bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia